Viktoria Morgenstern: Beyond the Framework

Bae and me at the job interview

Viktoria’s artworks enchanted me upon first sight. Like drawn into space her works become alive in space. Sensitive and gentle but powerful at the same time, they find their way into your heart. 

For the following I asked Viktoria if she wants to do an interview with me:

Luna Maluna Gri: Tell me a bit about yourself and your work.

Viktoria Morgenstern: I’m born in Vienna and I’m a queer artist. My main material was always drawing and it developed from drawing in a classical sense to photography, because I was really impatient, so I started to do a lot of work in photography and then went back from photographs to drawing again. From there it became three-dimensional and now the main mediums I use in my work are steel and brass and the work developed into what I call three-dimensional drawing in space. Some of the work is participatory or engaging also with other senses than only the visual, like touch or sound.

LMG: How and why did you start creating art?

VM: As far back as I remember I was always drawing. The earliest memory that I have of it is when I was two or three years old, which was also the age when my mother gave me an old camera, that was working with film. So thats when I started drawing and taking pictures. She still has some prints that I signed on the back at age three, in which I made my mother and my grandmother pose. Making pictures or being involved in this process, was always there and has never left me. Just the way how the work develops in a technical and conceptual sense, the research and all of this things has changed of course, but it was always a part of me.

LMG: What role does creating art play for you?

VM: For me it’s a way to deal with and also express what I’m experiencing, like on a basic human level. This is actually the first impetus I have and the need I have to do that in order to get along with things or understand the world around me. Working is actually a necessity for me. The part then where I share the work comes after that. This is more like “okay, this is here and now I want to share that, so maybe we can have a connection” or someone else can also relate to whatever topic lies in that work. It’s a way of getting in touch with myself and with everything that surrounds me – being connected.

Your heart, my heart

The imprint of the world is not a perfect circle

The last Habitat

LMG: What does your creating process look like?

VM: Mostly very messy, maybe a bit chaotic and a lot of times it’s very intense because also the work itself is intense and it’s very physical. Especially when I’m in the workshop – I need to be in a certain strength in order to be able to pull that off to work with the steel. But I’m not only working when I’m in the studio, I’m also working when I’m on the train, when I do research, when I draw (on paper), when I collect pictures and other materials.. so my art practice is actually not only happening when I’m in the workshop but it’s also happening on the road, doing interviews and collecting all those informations. My work is also based in scientific research and that can reach from geology to neuroscience or sociology. I barely ever stop working, maybe when I’m at the dentist or sleeping, but that’s it (laughs). I think it’s hard to say where to draw the line.

The earths core, I am heavy metal


LMG: What inspires you?

VM: Most inspiration I draw from human interactions. I love to observe people, how they connect and how they exchange and share with each other, or don’t, or disconnect. So I’m mostly interested in other humans and I would say after that I have that really strong connection to earthy materials I call it, if it’s animals or stones or bones. I have a huge collection of material and from then it goes on into geology, archeology, vulcanology, sociology and all these other science departments and I would argue that these are the three columns of my work. 

LMG: What is your experience with the art world?

VM: I’ve met amazing people in the art world, not only fellow artists but a lot of people that are deeply engaged in making opportunities for art and artists to exist, to develop and to connect. I’m really happy that I met those people that are so engaged with enabling, also young artists, to make projects. On the same hand I feel like after graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna it was really hard to navigate all those non-written rules when it comes to commercial deals or “how -to-behave rules” that are not really spoken about but if you fail at them you will know. I did not really feel prepared to navigate that and I’m still questioning a lot of things after the Academy and I feel it’s a very difficult topic or let’s say a very difficult situation, when it comes to art and artists and commercial relations. I think we still have a lot to do when it comes to equality, when it comes to fair payments and transparency. I think that we are able to change it for the better, if we work together. There is enough money in there and it should be for all of us.

LMG: Is there something you want to change about the art world? If yes, what and why?

VM: I would install a basic income for artists, not only for an artist but also writers, musicians, etc., because that’s really an incredible necessity. It can not be that workers of the culture scene have to fear for getting their basic needs met month after month. The whole society is profiting from these cultural workers when they consume that art and I feel like that must be acknowledged, at least in some sort of basic income. And from then on we can talk and get into a deeper conversation but I feel like that is the first thing that has to change. The situation like it is now makes artists more vulnerable for exploitation and for signing deals or offers that they are actually not really okay with, cause they are depending on the money.

LMG: What do you think is/are the role/-s of artists and art in our society?

VM: I think there is not a single answer to what the exact role is for artists or art in our society at the moment because it’s not only one role anymore. I think it got more complex over the last centuries and when I talk about art I also mean pop art, music, literature, etc. and for example when it comes to music and pop art stars are like our new gods, it’s like a new religion and therefor there are a lot of roles and a lot of projections that are happening on art and on the artists. I feel like every century, every time gets their art and their artists and vice versa. It’s not a one sided situation but a situation of exchange and one is mutually dependent on the other.

Before I forget
Link to the sound work:

Being with you is like riding a horse freehand

LMG: What artist/-s would you like to meet (dead or alive), and if you had one question what would you like to ask them?

VM: I would meet an artist that has already passed, Yves Klein. He was the first artist from whom I have experienced a work in flesh when I was a child, I think I was twelve, so it was my first, if you can say so, real experience with art and it really profoundly changed the idea or perception I had about art. I also think his work and the reduction in his work, reducing to the bear minimum, is something that has stuck with me until this day, more then twenty years later. I would like to ask him “How does it feel?”, “How does it feel when you do your work?”, because he is considering a lot how the observers experience and feel his work but there is not much text or information about him expressing how his own work made him feel and how he experienced it while he was doing it, I would love to ask him that.

LMG: Is there something you want to achieve in your art life? Dreams? Future plans or projects you would like to do?

VM: I have so much I wanna do and I’m just hoping that one lifespan is enough to do everything (laughs). I would have one other goal that my practice and my work will be on some sort of level one day where I can also provide opportunities for other artists or young people to be able to experience art or find tools for themselves through art, may be painting, photography or whatever we come up with in the next years, that I would really love.

LMG: Do you think there is something you can bring to this world through your work as an artist which you couldn’t in any other field of work?

VM: Yes I do think so, I can talk through my work about something without obeying to any rules. If I look at my other opportunities, I would have either become a scientist or I would have worked in a social field, like sociology or maybe therapy, but in both of these fields you have rules and it is also really important that they are there and the guidelines that are installed. It’s important to follow them but for me in order to express all these diverse layers I wanna talk about in my work I can not work in a predefined frame, so I need to be out of this context and this is where the art comes in.

Deep Touch Pressure


3rd photo: ©Christina Schmidl

8th photo: ©

All other photos and all artworks: ©Viktoria Morgenstern



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published